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Recap / The X-Files S08 E18 "Vienen"

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Season 8, Episode 18:

"Tenemos que detenerlos antes que sea muy tarde. Ya vienen! Ya vienen!" Translation 
Written by Steven Maeda
Directed by Rod Hardy

Mulder: We got to quarantine this rig.
Scully: No Mulder, you need to get off the rig. Have Agent Doggett give the order. We can quarantine you and the crew when you get back here.
Mulder: Scully, if these men are infected, the last place we want to be is onshore where they can infect other people.

Mulder and Doggett are forced to come to an understanding after they become trapped on an oil rig where the crew are infected with the alien black oil. Doggett was sent to investigate the oil rig, but Mulder went along on his own initiative, disobeying orders.


  • Alien Blood: Diego slashes Doggett to confirm he's not infected by the black oil.
  • As You Know: Done by having Mulder and Doggett argue over whether the case of the dead Mexican oil worker killed by radiation burns should be investigated by the Bureau.
  • Bad Boss: Kersh is a particularly insufferable jerkass in this episode, and fires Mulder once and for all at the end.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At first it looks like the two Mexican workers are the villains, especially when one kills a fellow worker in cold blood. Then it turns out the man he killed was infected by the black oil.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mulder swoops in just in time with a metal pipe to beat down a Black Oil infected worker just before it could kill or infect Doggett.
  • Bittersweet Ending: On the bitter side all the oil workers are dead and Mulder takes the fall for the rig's destruction, being fired from the FBI once and for all. On the sweet side Mulder and Doggett have saved countless lives from the Black Oil, and prevented it from contacting the aliens UFO's. Doggett fully takes up Mulder's role as the head of the X-Files, and the two men part on good terms, respecting one another at last.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Doggett tries to get Diego to trust him, but he replies with Spanish that Doggett ironically translates as "Trust no-one."
  • Buddy Cop Show: Or Buddy Agent Show. At least for this single episode.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Black Oil returns as a threat for a final time after a lengthy absence from the show.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Mulder engages in some of this to Doggett while the radio room is being attacked.
  • Collapsing Lair: Or exploding lair, as it's an oil refinery sabotaged by its own workers. Though it's not entirely clear what the black oil-infected workers have to gain from this.
  • Continuity Nod: In the first scene after the opening credits, which is set in the X-Files office, one can see a picture of the North American shaman cross.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Diego has a photo of his family, with the expected results.
  • Foreign Language Title: Spanish for "they come".
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Mulder and Doggett make a damn good team and become this at last, at least come to respect one another from their experiences fighting the Black Oil together in this episode.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: A non lethal kind from Mulder, who takes the fall for the incident and is fired from the FBI, protecting Doggett and the X-Files.
  • High-Dive Escape: Mulder and Doggett from the oil rig as it explodes.
  • The Immune: Diego Garza and Simon de la Cruz are not infected by the black oil. They are Huecha Indians who, due to a genetic mutation, have a natural immunity.
  • The Infiltration: Mulder suggests this is the goal of the black oil, using humanity's universal dependence on it to spread across the globe.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: Mulder suddenly realise no-one's trying to kick down the door. Turns out they've decided to blow up the oil rig instead.
  • Lock Down: There's an attempt to quarantine the rig, but Kersh overules it. There are also repeated attempts to destroy the radio to prevent calling others in.
  • Mocking Music: Agents Mulder and Doggett are pursued by oil rig crew members who have been infected by the black oil. They are violently banging on the door of the communications room, while Doggett tries to get the radio working. The static changes to the "Ride of the Valkyries".
  • Myth Arc: Functions like a Monster of the Week but with the return of the black oil and the usual authority figures acting obstructive.
  • No Escape but Down: Mulder and Doggett jump off an oil rig after realizing the crew is destroying it.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Kersh, true to form.
  • Put on a Bus: The Black Oil/Purity is never seen again after this episode.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: In the end Mulder takes the fall for the incident and is fired from the FBI altogether, while Agent Doggett fully takes over running the X-Files for him. The two part ways with a hand shake and mutual respect.
    Mulder: Answer the phone, Agent Doggett. You're in charge here now.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Mulder and Doggett at first, though fighting the Black Oil together they come to respect one another by the episode's end, and make peace.
  • Visual Gag: The door to the radio room that the Black Oil infected are trying to kick down has an instruction written on it for workers to wipe off their boots before entering.
  • Wham Shot: The reveal that the entire crew is infected with the Black Oil.

"That oil should stay right where it is. You should do everything in your power to make sure that it does."


Video Example(s):


The X-Files S08 E18

Mulder and Doggett hesitantly take a page out of Die Hard to escape a collapsing oil rig.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoEscapeButDown

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